Catching Video Pirates: Invisible DNA-Like Fingerprint on Video Assist Law Enforcement

You know when you’re watching a pirated film downloaded from the Internet — there’s no mistaking the fuzzy footage, or the guy in the front row getting up for popcorn. Despite the poor quality, pirated video is a serious problem around the world. Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, costing the film industry — and the U.S. economy — billions of dollars annually.

Now Dr. Alex Bronstein of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Electrical Engineering has a new way to stop video pirates. With his twin brother Michael and Israeli researcher Prof. Ron Kimmel, he has developed the ultimate solution: treating video footage like DNA.

Sequencing the video genome – “It’s not only members of the animal and plant kingdom that can have DNA,” says Dr. Bronstein, who was inspired by DNA sequencing tools used in bioinformatics laboratories. “If a DNA test can identify and catch criminals, we thought that a similar code might be applicable to video. If the code were copied and changed, we’d catch it.” Continue reading …

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